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Medical Memoirs

Catch a falling baby

Sandra sent me two videos to watch. In the first, Vanessa, looking like a Cranach Madonna or an early Renaissance painting of St. Cecelia, pours the elegance and order of Bach from her Cello de Gamba. This is her award-winning performance from an international competition. As I watch, I marvel at the miracle entailed by a person playing an instrument so… Read More »Catch a falling baby

Hospital food: the good, the bad and the ugly

Hospital food is much maligned and rightly so. It is usually bland, overcooked and just this side of inedible. This has only become worse over the years as hospitals economize by decreasing staff and outsourcing catering to lower the number of unionized employees in the kitchen. As a medical student, the cafeteria lunches and dinners outside the white table-clothed private… Read More »Hospital food: the good, the bad and the ugly

Bill 96: If you don’t want to do something, one reason is as good as another

My maternal grandparents came to Canada from what is now the Ukraine, in the early 1920’s. My grandfather was sent a ticket by his cousin, my great-uncle Simcha. My grandmother and her four sisters were brought by his wife, my great-aunt Adelle. How they managed to save all that money while working sweatshop jobs in four or five years I… Read More »Bill 96: If you don’t want to do something, one reason is as good as another

Calamity ware: What’s in a plate?

When I was a little girl my Bubbie and her sisters, my great Aunties, got me a miniature tea set as a present. It was very special, a full set of dishes made of real china, in the classic Blue Willow pattern. I loved that set, and was only allowed to use it on special occasions and under supervision. I… Read More »Calamity ware: What’s in a plate?

The Bubbie business

Bubbie! Bubbie! Bubbie! came the excited cries as my three grandchildren rocketed into the house as my husband and I were putting the finishing touches on our Friday night dinner. This was the first time we have been able to have the whole of our Montreal family here together since the beginning of the pandemic. The children were happy to… Read More »The Bubbie business

Chocolate cake: a medical metaphor

Chocolate cake has always been important to me. Well, in fact, chocolate in general has played a pretty central role in my life. When I was a child my mother, who was generally a terrible cook, had a yummy chocolate cake recipe that she modified from her friend Maytie’s, by swapping out the milk for orange juice. This had the… Read More »Chocolate cake: a medical metaphor