Thursday, March 25, 2010

Lab coat for Mirsad

Dear Friends,

Let me tell you a story. Last year I became friends with Selma who is a Veterinarian student here in Sarajevo. Before I left in December she told me about a Pathology professor in the department who was an amazing professor and in love with Cornell University which has a world renowned Veterinary faculty. Even though Dr. Mirsad Kadrić had no physical ties to Cornell, I sensed it's importance to him and felt compelled to get him a gift from the university.

So, after the New Year I made first contacts with Cornell and right away I knew it was going to be a battle as the gift I desired to get was no small thing; a veterinarian lab coat with the official Cornell insignia. Fortunately, I met the "right" person, the Dean's secretary, Patricia, and she committed herself to finding a coat and finally we got some luck- she found one last lab coat that was meant for upper level veterinary students when they transition up. So we found ourselves a lab coat for Mirsad!

Now, just to make it more official, I wanted to embroider his name on this lab coat and I knew the right place to go- the Firestore in Gap, PA. It is an amazing place thanks to the owners, the Witmer family, and because of their embroidering department, they were willing and able to help. So, we were able to put Mirsad's full name in cornell red across from the faculty's insignia. Cool!

You can imagine how excited I was to come back to Sarajevo with this snazzy gift. I had to curb that enthusiasm a bit as the university starts later in the year and my friend Selma was all kinds of busy and she was our connection. But, last Wednesday I was able to meet Mirsad and exchange this gift...

Obviously, he was totally surprised and maybe unsure of the why's and how's. I tried communicating to him that I understand he is a very accomplished and talented professor whose commitment to his students and integrity as a professor (not so easy here in Bosnia) are shaping the lives of his students. He confessed, that he is not sure of his impact within the department but assured me that he is happy and committed and I could sense that he has purpose and passion.

In closing, let me explain the significance of this I feel about it. First of all it is a pure extension of friendship and goodwill from one place to another- between strangers and among "peers" in the veterinarian world. To feel the kindness of a stranger is a great thing! Also, I believe this gift could inspire Dr. Mirsad to keep on, keeping on! Please imagine a scenario where you give your life for something (maybe educating generations of veterinarian students) and all you see is complacency within the overall educational, political, social and economic structures of your society and you have to "entrust" these students to this society; to sink or swim. I feel this gift could encourage Mirsad in this journey and maybe even impact his students to see the Cornell insignia and dream of realizing any and every dreamlike goal.

So, this was my story about a lab coat for Mirsad. Hope you enjoyed it and I would just like to warmly thank Cornell University and the Firestore. Go team!

Much Love

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