Beeftown origins: Tom W

For one of the last interviews this year, we decided it’s time to learn a bit about Tom W. Here are the results of these efforts.

Questions we’ve asked Tom W:

Tell us a bit about your life before Schulich.
What was/is your favourite block? Why is that?
Tell us a little bit about your DJ Career?
What’s your favourite movie/TV show? Excited about Game of Thrones?
Tell us a bit about your hobbies
What is one piece of advice that you got from a complete stranger that you take to heart?
How do you feel being a part of Beef Town? What are your thoughts on “cliques” in the class?
What are your plans for the upcoming summer?
How is your clerkship group looking? Did you get the rotation order you wanted?
What kind of physician do you want to be?)

Tell us a bit about your life before Schulich.

I went to U of T. I grew up in Toronto; went to high-school there. But, most of my time was spent playing sports. Growing up it was tennis – school was often an afterthought. And, at U of T, it was basketball… like a 180 shift: I abandoned tennis, started playing basketball. That’s what kept me sane over the years

What was/is your favourite block? Why is that?

Well, the first day of Psych was really cool – they made you think about stuff from other people’s perspectives. The guy kinda mentioned how would you feel if you had that [disorder]. And the guy is like, well, no you have no f**king idea. Because it’s so far removed from your everyday existence – it’s hard to imagine. But, obviously I haven’t done psych yet. Neuro was my favourite though, because I did neuro in undergrad. Which was good because usually you’re overwhelmed with not knowing anything, and here it was nice – like recognizing words, like “here, this is the corpus callosum”.

Tell us a little bit about your DJ Career?

Ok. So it’s not much of a career. I’ve only done it like 5-6 times. 2 of the times it was really cool, cuz there were like a few hundred people there. It’s an amazing feeling, when everyone’s dancing, and they like what you’re playing. That’s cool.

The way I got into it: someone made a post on the meds site, and Jake, as a joke, put my name down, and you know how European DJs are all like: “put your hands up.” And he commented: Tom, put your hands up. And I was like, huh, why not?, might as well do it.

And the first time I did this it was at the Tachy afterparty last year. It was 5-7 people there: my friends who came to support me and Alex from Windsor. And there was a full set there, we spent the whole day setting it up, and then no-one really showed up, because Tachy ran late…

Two of [the other times] were awesome… 200 people or so, spent like a week preparing for the last one. People think it’s like – “play next”, like an iPod, but you gotta make sure the songs work together, blend into each other, songs fade in and out. And have to get the timing right, too; and the beats have to match. I dunno how the real DJs do it all on the fly. It takes a lot of work, it’s super-satisfying, to see people enjoying it.

What’s your favourite movie/TV show? Excited about Game of Thrones?

We watched the season premiere at the theatre room at Rachel’s apartment. There were like 10-15 of us there, it was pretty cool. We actually don’t get HBO anymore, so we will have to figure out another way of doing that… other than that…

I dunno, recently, we watched Inside Job, and the Big Short – it’s about the financial crisis in the states in 2008, and it’s kinda like eye opening, because before I saw these movies, I had no idea what was going on, or what happened there, it’s just super-interesting to see the reasons why it happened, and it’s interesting how many people have no idea.
Like “financial crisis” I don’t even know what it means. And it’s really not that complicated, you just have to take the time and have a look at what’s going on: It’s like a lot of other things in life, that you don’t really think about until you’re introduced to them, and that’s why I think it’s important to keep an open mind about stuff.

Tell us a bit about your hobbies

I like to sleep, a little bit too much, so, yeah, love that, that’s great. If I could just sleep, and then wake up, long enough to know that I appreciate the fact that I was just sleeping, and be able to go back to it. That would be my ideal existence.

When I’m awake, [it’s] going to the Gym. #1 is probably Basketball, I dunno what I’d do without it. Any time that I get some free time, or whatever, I go play basketball for a few hours. That’s my happy place.

And, other than that, I used to play a lot of video games. I used to play TF2 on PC. In first few years of university, I think I played like 1000s of hours. It’s ridiculous.

What is one piece of advice that you got from a complete stranger that you take to heart?

Ok, so when I started out lifting, it was me, and Ryan, and another guy. And me and this other guy, we had no idea about form, or anything. We just wanted to go, lift as much weight as possible, you know.

Like, every day was chest and biceps, we didn’t care about balancing muscle groups and whatever – do bench, curls, and lift as much weight as possible (and shittiest form possible). Finally, I got hurt, and that was the thing that it took for me to start to listen to people. And that’s how I learned how to actually, you know, find balance in my gym routine. Let’s say you’re trying to work your chest or something, you want to actually use it to move the weight, rather than going in as an idiot and try to lift the weights in any way possible.

How do you feel being a part of Beef Town? What are your thoughts on “cliques” in the class?

It was our first weekend in London. And we were driving through Masonville, and you know there’s the “Beertown” – restaurant there, and the sign is written in cursive. And I’m looking at the sign, and trying to read it, and I can’t read it… and I was like “What the f**k is Beeftown” – and everyone in the car starts laughing, and that’s how the name started. Me, Jake, Farbs, Paddy, Ryan, and Joel and Evan are like, core. Sure, yeah, it’s nice being a part of a tight group of friends, and it definitely does give me some identity, you know. Because it’s important, you know –your friends are a big part of who you are.

“What the f**k is Beeftown” – and everyone in the car starts laughing, and that’s how the name started.

My thoughts of cliques in the class in general – especially at the beginning, it was like going back to high-school, because it’s a small group of people, but large enough to have those little groups forming. But we’re adults, so it’s not the same childish stuff that has been going on before. No bullying and stuff – but then again I might not now. All the cliques do come together for the big events, so it’s not so separate that people don’t know each other. People still come together and interact.
There’s “St Bees”, but we hang out with them a lot…

The Castlegrove boys…

The guys who live on Canterbury. Now, Ranbir… Ranbir goes around, he’s a diplomat, he integrated himself into a lot of different groups, which is cool. You always see him… he’s a very good politician

There’s you guys – You, Rock, and the people going to the gym together – the cliques I recognize the most are people going to the gym together, because it’s a special type of bond, you know… because you have the gym crew. Then It’s your family. Then it’s extended family. And then it’s classmates

You have the gym crew. Then It’s your family. Then it’s extended family. And then it’s classmates

There’s the Squash crew – Jan and Co. Speaking of which, he’s good at racket sports, he’s the only person I’ve had a good ping-pong game with, I would like to play with him again. And at Smash bros, he kicked my ass. And I was coming in all arrogant and stuff, and he just dusted the floor with me. I had to re-evaluate my whole life after that. It was pretty brutal. I’ve never seen anyone play Kirby like that.

What are your plans for the upcoming summer?

So, I want to go to a lot of music festivals, because that’s what I do. I love music festivals, because it’s just a weekend of just amazing time with good friends. You can never go to too many music festivals. I might write the USMLE; I actually don’t want to anymore, but I already paid for it. I don’t want to work [in the States], maybe just do a fellowship there or something. I figure it’s good review for next year in the worst case.

Also, I applied to do a 10-day meditation thing where you go to, basically you live in a place just outside of Barrie, you don’t speak to anyone, you don’t interact with people for 10 days straight. You just meditate. The language is apparently Hindu. And preference is given to those what speak Hindu, so if spots don’t fill up, then they open it up to the English-speaking people. It’s like a Buddhist thing, I think it would be a really cool experience… usually if you want to meditate, just take time here and there… but here it’s meditate for 10 days straight… but, yeah.

How is your clerkship group looking? Did you get the rotation order you wanted?

It’s good – yeah, I don’t really know what I want to do later on, so… I dunno, I wasn’t too attached to my pick. We have a good group. We already have a Facebook group going. We already have something set up, to meet and do something fun – seems like a good group. I can’t really think of a bad group, no matter what you’re going to get a good group. The more you talk to people you don’t know, the more you realize that, well, they are good people, you know? So…

The more you talk to people you don’t know, the more you realize that, well, they are good people

What kind of physician do you want to be?

No idea. Absolutely no idea. Yeah, I dunno. I feel like I’m leaning towards neurology/psychiatry just because it’s a really cool field. And they’re both really different, in ways, too, because my idea of psych is more abstract, whereas neurology is more logical: here’s the lesion, here’s the problem. It’s very step-by-step.
Whereas, you know, in psych you can’t really identify a structural problem. It’s more of… it’s very difficult to wrap your head around, which I think is really cool… and there’s still so much progress to be made; and, as we understand consciousness better – new ways of dealing with mental health will come up. With Psychiatry, we are still very much in the dark… and a lot of the treatments that work, we don’t really know why. Like ECT for depression – you’re basically jut shocking the brain – and we have no idea how that works. There’s still a lot of room for discovery, which is exciting. So yeah.