For those of you that don't know me very well, I am a movie buff. I like movies for the same reasons everyone else does; they are entertaining and a fun thing to do with friends. I love movies for a very different reason. It is my belief that movies can teach us everything we need to know. They teach us the importance of trying even when it seems impossible, what it means to be a good loser, that perseverance is the key to success, and that having fun is just as important as working hard.
This past weekend I had the opportunity to watch "We Are Marshall". If you haven't seen it, here are the basics. Marshall University lost its whole football team along with almost its entire athletic faculty in a plane crash. The movie is a recount of how Marshall continued its football program and the difficulties that came with it. Now, I know UMR doesn't have a football team, but hang in there with me for a minute. Marshall won only nine games out of the many dozen it played over the next couple of decades after the plane crash. Yet, those nine wins helped the town of Marshall move on from the 75 people that were lost in the crash. This is a true story about the town and football players of Marshall.
You see, I believe that "We Are Marshall", although it received awful reviews, served an important purpose. It teaches its viewers that trying is more important than triumph, a lesson that people often lose sight of. UMR is a difficult school, made to prepare future medical professionals for the intense academic atmospheres they will encounter later in their schooling. As a student at UMR, I know how easy it can be to lose sight of the lesson that making the effort is the most important step. Getting an "A" in every subject is less important than truly understanding the material and gaining experience from the course. From the second we learn about med school and the most prestigious hospitals in the world, it is ingrained in our minds that if we have perfect GPAs, hundreds of hours of volunteer work, and are thoroughly involved in the school we can get into any school or job we want. This is false. "As We Are Marshall" demonstrated, sometimes it is about standing up for what you believe in rather than winning. Don't get me wrong, an excellent GPA and all of the other "requirements" we learn about will be helpful in reaching whatever goal you are striving for, but there has to be more to it. A very wise teacher I had once told me that you could be absolutely perfect and never get to where you want to be. She told me that the best secret for getting into med school or any other selective program/job is this: find something to stand for, something that you know to be an absolute truth, and do everything you can to protect and promote it. Strive to make to world a better place. Marshall knew the importance of striving, and they were kind enough to remind the rest of us to the same.