Sunday, August 1, 2010


I have one brother. His name is Mac. He is easily one of my favorite people in the entire world. So smart and so funny and so kind. Even when I wanted to kill him growing up (and there were certainly times), he was still the best. Still is.

And now my little brother is a grown up, taking the MCATs and apply to med school.
When did this happen?
(And does that mean that I'm a grown up, too?)

Growing up Mac didn't read. Don't get me wrong, he could read. He just chose not to. I was always the studious one, the smart one. The nerd who read books at my little brother's baseball games. I used to tease him that maybe he didn't know how to read. Mac just never seemed to care about school that much. Even so, he still got decent grades. Without even really trying (or so it seemed) he made the honor roll and got great report cards. I guess he was just one of those kids, you know?

Then he got to college and discovered that he has a learning disability. He started taking his medicine and now has, as a bio-chem major with a minor in psychology, a 4.0 GPA. And he's taking his MCATs and applying to med school.

It makes me think back on all those times growing up when I teased him about not knowing how to read. He obviously knew how, but... But what if he wanted to read, and he just couldn't? Literally could not physically sit down and process the information in front of him. And I teased him about that. Obviously I had no way of knowing, but still. Imagine that frustration. Now he reads even more than I do. And, thinking back on his grades growing up, and how he never seemed to try or care - I can't help but wonder if the whole not caring thing was some kind of cover up to hide how hard he was trying and not getting the results he wanted.

Or, and this really wouldn't surprise me at all, maybe he's fooling us all. Maybe he really didn't care, really didn't try growing up, got to college and was like, "Ha! You bitches don't even know what you're in for because now I'm actually going to apply myself." I secretly think there's a little bit of that in there too.

Either way, he emailed me the personal statement he wrote for his med school applications. He wanted me to take a look at it, edit it, give him my suggestions. Because while I'm not going to cure cancer like he's going to, by God, I can write a damn good essay. So I thought sure, I'll revamp it and make it totally amazing. And then I read it. He talked about the human condition, about our little cousin, about his friend Dan, about how the experiences he's had in his life have shaped the way he feels about medicine and have inspired him to help improve the lives of people who can't help themselves. My words not his. I didn't make that many changes. Suggestions here and there, grammar issues, threw in some big fancy SAT words. But the ideas were there and they were all his. And reading his essay today made me feel even more proud to be his sister.

So, that's all. No moral to this story. Just wanted to say that I've got a pretty amazing fratellino. One that I'm ridiculously proud of. In bocca al lupo, Mac.

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