Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A most enjoyable visit to Sickkids

Today, I took my son Derek to Sickkids to job shadow my high school friend, Dr. Michael Tropak. He is a Research Associate developing new drug treatments for various childhood diseases at Sickkids Hospital. I'm so happy that Michael took the time out to show Derek what his job is really like. Mike is one of the few people I know who loves his job and is really passionate about his work. He is so dedicated that he happily puts in more than his regular 36 hour work week. When not at his lab, he is constantly updating his skills and keeping up with the latest medical developments by reading all the latest medical journals relevant to his field. His wife can attest to the many extra hours he will spend at the lab, in the evenings and on weekends. But dedicated as he is to his career of choice, he is also a dedicated father who takes time to attend his childrens' extra curricular events without fail and takes time to cook for his family as well. What a guy!

So on this chilly morning we were supposed to meet, I underestimated the time it would take us to get downtown from Richmond Hill. I know the drive from our place to Finch subway is usually 20 minutes long, if we were to start out at 7am. It in fact took an hour when we started the trip at 8am. I don't know if it's because we hit prime time rush hour or because the roads were extra icy and slippery, but the ride to Finch subway was excruiatingly slow. It reminded me of the movie "Office Space" where the featured office worker was commuting in stop & go traffic and an old man pushing a walker on the sidewalk was making faster progress than he was in his car. I just don't know how people can stand doing this kind of a commute day after day. This would definitely drive me crazy.

Alright, enough with my ranting, when we finally made it to Sickkids, apparently a fire alarm went off and none of the escalators were in operation. So, we ended up walking up 9, that's nine flights of steps up to Mike's office. Well, that took care of my exercise for the day. I introduced Derek to Mike and he immediately showed Derek all kinds of interesting things like skin cells under a microscope and heart cells from mice they were growing from a culture. That was cool, because you can actually see the cells beating just like a heart. I didn't stay to see everything that Mike had lined up for Derek, but I'm sure Derek learned alot. Derek was always interested in the Sciences and after job shadowing Mike, Derek is now even more interested in pursuing a career in the sciences.

So I want to say Thank You so much Mike for taking time out to present a career choice to Derek in such a fun and entertaining way (These are Derek's words).

I really had a great time catching up with Mike and obviously Derek gained some good insights into what a Researcher does and to top it all off, the Viva bus people gave out Holiday Treats to all their riders today. Yum!

I had to remove some pictures because I didn't get pre-approval from the hospital to post certain pictures due to privacy reasons. I sincerely apologize for this.

We met him at the Sickkids Atrium

He made us climb up 9 flights to get to his office at the top

Taking a tour of Sickkids

One of the waiting areas

One of the seating areas

Viva Transit gave out treats to their faithful customers


Connie said...

looks like you guys had fun!

by the way, when did public transit give out treats? is that money coming from the rise of ticket prices .. oh wait ... im thinking about another transit system..

Joanie.S said...

Yeah every so often, like once or twice a year, VIVA will pass out treats to their faithful customers such as myself, but sometimes a one-time customer like my kid Derek will luck out. Don't worry, your TTC tickets will not be affected. It should remain $2.25, at least until the end of the year. VIVA tickets, on the other hand will probably rise again from the current $2.40 each. probably next month.