Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Results of an Overloaded Brain

Before reading this post, look at the above map and find the UPI building. Find it? OK; please continue:

Last week there was a Presidential Scholars reception on the medical campus. It gave a chance for those of us at the medical school who received scholarships to meet the donors who made the scholarship possible and express our gratitude for them. I felt it was important for me to do that, as the scholarship I received was what made it possible for me to attend medical school at UC Denver:
When I interviewed at the school last fall, I fell in love with the school and the sunshine. At the Denver Airport, after the interview, I called Sundy and told her, "I really love it here. It's too bad it would never work out." The out-of-state tuition at UC Denver is one of the highest in the country, and I didn't think I could justify its cost when I could get in-state tuition at OHSU, the Oregon medical school. The acceptance to UC Denver came two weeks later. Sun and I were both excited about actually having a medical school acceptance after 4 years of trying, but we were still holding out for OHSU. However, a few weeks later, I received word of a UC Denver scholarship that would make tuition significantly less expensive, even compared to the in-state rates at OHSU. We had felt good about Denver all along; the scholarship was the final piece that fell into place and made our move here possible.
So, I greatly appreciated the scholarship and wanted to express that appreciation. I made plans to attend the reception, and since it was on campus, I decided to stay at school after classes and then just walk to the reception a few minutes before it started. I had received the address where the reception would be taking place in an earlier email, so I figured I could look up the address sometime during the day.

Then the day of the reception, I got reminder email. The email did not have an address, but it did say that the reception would be held in the UPI building, and referred me to the attached map to find it. I found the building on the lower right corner of the map (is that where you found it, too?) and mapped out my walk to the building. That evening, I started walking there with what I thought was plenty of time to arrive.

What I found, though, was a building under construction. I walked around it and thought that there was no way the reception could be held there. So I walked back to the education buildings (where I could get WiFi) and checked the email again. Sure enough, the building under construction was what was marked as the UPI building. I walked to the building again, now about 20 minutes late, and walked around. I found an opening in the construction fence and walked in. The building door adjacent to the fence opening was also open, so I walked in.

I spent the next 20 minutes wandering around a half-constructed, deserted building. On one floor there was a large room full of cubicles, but completely void of any person from whom to ask directions. Another floor had several rooms that could have qualified as reception halls, but the doors were all locked, and I could hear no one on the other side of them. It felt surreal, like I was part of a Twilight Zone episode, or of the Parable of the Ten Virgins - because I had not adequately prepared, I had to return to obtain the WiFi oil of knowledge and thus arrived too late, after the festivities had begun and the doors had been locked. Finally, I gave up.

I called and left semi-coherent messages for the organizer of the reception and the dean of student affairs so they would know that I hadn't just blown off the reception (I was just lost and really confused). I once again made the trek to the education buildings to write an email to the dean and more fully explain the situation. When opening up my email, I found a previous email from the dean that gave the address of the event: 13199 E Montview Blvd, on the other side of campus.

Yes, I had misread the map. The UPI building is actually the University Physicians, Inc. building, up in the top middle of the map. If I had written down the address earlier or checked the address before I left, I would have known. Whoops.

Apparently I was the only student who made the mistake. I arrived at the reception an hour late, and hastily (and sheepishly) explained the situation to the dean, who was attending the event. I could just feel everyone's eyes boring into me: "This is the type of student that received our scholarship money?" Also, I missed out on all the food.

I blame my confusion on the ambiguity of the email that was sent on the day of the event (which did not list the address or the full name of the building), but my ultimate excuse is the Human Body course I am in. The flood of information I am trying to absorb has overwhelmed the part of my brain I need to think clearly.

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