Sunday, January 9, 2011


Well, I made a mistake. In "Medical School Hopscotch," I said Chuck had virtually no medical training prior to beginning his pediatrics rotation with Dr. Bob Z and in yesterday's post, he suddenly has six weeks of internal medicine and two of radiology behind him. Oops!

So, which is it? "Hopscotch" has the record correct, pediatrics is Chuck's first rotation and will be followed by internal medicine, a radiology selective, obstetrics and gynecology, and then, his long awaited psychiatry rotation. The purpose of yesterday's post was to reveal how his experiences with Bob, Jessie, and the twins, as well as his other patients, have triggered the desire to blend psychiatry with children and their parents. He thought his life was planned out nicely, but the past four weeks have introduced a change and now child-adolescent psychiatry is apparently on his horizon.

Chuck's role in Pink Hats has been twofold. First, he provides some necessary continuity with the events of chapter one. As time went along, it struck me as incongruous that we should only encounter him once, particularly since, without him and his dog, we wouldn't have a story at all. Second, he's given me an opportunity to talk about psychological issues that would naturally surface with Bob's desire to adopt the twins. For instance, why would a 62 year old man wish to put himself through everything having children entails? Chuck's an unbiased observer, allowing you and me to see how things look inside the male mind from the perspective of an outsider.

At the same time, being an older student, Chuck is far more likely to develop a relationship with Bob that smacks of peerage and thus, permits us to see Bob in a different light. With Chuck, he can be a teacher as well as a man who asks questions about himself and his motives. In a sense, Chuck is the closest thing Bob has to a male friend and confidante, though in fact, this is not the case. Bob has friends, but with the exceptions of Halley and Ted, none of them have made an appearance and since we're nearing the climax of the story, I doubt any of them will. We're getting to the point where introducing anyone other than very minor characters would be confusing.

So, my apologies for failing to keep track of the details. Although the Holidays are over for us in the real world, they're just around the corner for Bob, Jessie, and everyone else, and I think they're going to be a lot of fun. If it all works out like I hope, you'll want to have a hankie or two handy.

(Creative Commons image of The Book of Changes by Nikki L via Flickr)

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