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Table Of Contents From the Editors


A Mind's Pathway


Your Leg is on Fire but I Saw a Sunset


Thinking Piece about "Letter to a Young Doctor"


Going Through It


The Diagnosis


Monsters Under the Bed






From The Editors


FROM THE EDITORS This year, our hope was to increase the presence of The Muse in the community. Though many may see The Muse as simply a writing or journaling initiative, it is much more. We believe that The Muse can serve as a platform for the various stories in healthcare. In this way, we can all instigate change and explore the issues and successes of healthcare today. By continuing to build upon the hard work and successes of our predecessors, we hope to faithfully serve the unique stories and perspecear Reader, tives of patients, families, and healthcare pracWe are pleased to celebrate the tenth edition titioners around the world. of The Muse alongside the beginning of a new year and a new decade. This issue’s theme "Per- We would like to give a big thank you to our spectives" was selected to celebrate the various faculty advisor, Dr. Ellen Amster, for her guidcultures, thoughts and experiences that have ance and support when starting out this posishaped the minds of people around the world. tion, and to all of the members of The Muse We hoped to explore stories and ideas that em- for welcoming us and working even harder body resiliency, creativity, strength, and the than before to make this issue possible. Furthermore, we thank you, our contributors who best of what makes us human. have beautifully illustrated with words their This was our first year as Editors-in-Chief for stories and experiences. And last but not least, The Muse, and it was truly an experience that to our readers, whom this would not be possichanged our perspective. We were humbled by ble without: thank you!


the hard work of everyone on the team as well as courage of many to share the stories and ex- Best regards, periences that shaped who they are today. Samuel and Shamir

The Muse ¡ Issue 10

A Mind's Eye

The Muse · Issue 10



A MIND'S PATHWAY By Sanya Grover Art by Gracia Chen

look for the corners, but they’re not found the edges now soft, with an unknown shape desperate for the exit, keep looking around welcome to the maze with no escape the edges are soft, with an unknown shape eternal walls, how will you find the break? welcome to the maze with no escape little do you know, mistakes have been made eternal walls, have you found the break? a maze, a maze, keep thinking it’s a maze little do you know, mistakes have been made frustration sets your feeble soul ablaze a maze, a maze, keep thinking it’s a maze you crave the exit, oh how will you resist? frustration sets your fragile soul ablaze your poor teared mind never stops to twist

About the Author

Sanya is a second year Health Sciences student in the Child Health Specialization who has always been drawn to the world of creative writing. Poetry has been a powerful medium in her life; the intricate process of playing with words has allowed her to explore herself, as well as the complex world around her. She enjoys experimenting with many different poetry styles in search of evolving as a writer and as an individual.

YOUR LEG IS ON FIRE BUT I SAW A SUNSET your grin stretched from ear to ear as I rambled about my day your voice a comforting cloud that kept me calm at bay but your hip would ache, uncontrollably quake yet you kept smiling for my sake and didn’t say a word. your leg is on fire, but i saw a sunset. all the dark nights when i couldn’t fall asleep i didn’t even see you weep only noticing your rays spreading far and wide enveloping me in a blanket of your arms an eloquent orange a furious red a compassionate pink your leg is on fire, but i saw a sunset. how did I not see the spark of the flare at your bone, or how your leg hardened to stone? your leg is on fire, but i saw adid I not see the blaze getting worse, etched onto you like a curse, why didn’t I take care of you first? your leg is on fire, but ithe skin around your tender hip screeches as the scorching flames replace the crimson in your veins, claiming them as theirs the heat devours your brittle bone within a beat little by little until every part sizzles like an overused cigar, your tissues blacken to char your leg is on fire, mama.

Poem by Sanya Grover Art by Peri Ren


Thinking Piece


Thinking Piece about

Hedva is often objectified as the "sick" and the mentally unstable; she is made a probLetter to a Young Doctor by Johanna Heve- lem that doctor's need to "fix." Relations da can be accessed online from Triple Can- of care can take place in these medical settings through trust which Hedva describes opy Magazine's 24th digital issue at as being "what keeps people from falling apart... offer[s] small encouragement that the brokenness is bearable" (Hedva 3). Care relations can take place through doctor's the examination of Johanna Hedva's who appeal to the patient as an equal, not as essay "Letter to a Young Doctor" there is a 'lesser than', and through acknowledging a heavy presence in how gathering of her medical information in the clinical encoun- that the patient is an expert in his/her own bodily experiences. Doctors must realize ters she faces objectifies her. However, it is that "the patient [is] also a specialist... in possible that clinical scenes can be expepossession of a set of knowledges, a vision rienced as sites where relations of care do of the world we'd like to build" (4). happen.

By Cassiana Giardini


The Muse ¡ Issue 10


It is important that there is agency given to the patient. Additionally, care happens when doctor-patient relationships do not always just look for a "cure" but at the goals the patient has for his/her illness. As Hedva describes, what often gets in the way of care between doctor-patient relationships is that "for patients, it often feels like trying to connect with a stranger with whom you have no chance of actually connecting (2).

The Muse ¡ Issue 10

Health/data tracking becomes an ethical issue when the patient no longer feels as if his/her voice is being heard. When the autonomy and agency of the patient is stifled or ignored, continued data tracking of their illness is unethical. It is done so without the consent of the patient. Another example of an ethical dilemma that appears in clinical encounters is the following through of a produce by a doctor that may cause more harm than good only for the sake of the physician finding his own answers.

Going Through It


Poem by Oluwaseun Orenuga Art by Cezara Ene

Going Through It

I just want to live life and be happy. Be healthy, be happy.

Only if life could just be all smiles, Positive vibes beaming for miles, No tribulations or trials, Why can't it just be that simple? Well, life is not a perfect picture;


Beware of these rocks that life throws on your path Because over time, they become stepping stones Step through it. Go through the emotions. Move through life's motions. Cry, Those tears fertilize the fruits of future happiness.

It is society's caricature.

Laugh, There are way more than a thousand words It's the best medicine. to explain its complexity Learn, There is a lot to this perplexity. You are what you choose to become. To just strive for happiness romanticizes life's beauty. It's not enough to just look good on the surface, There's beauty in the struggle, beauty in the process, Anger, Confusion, Melancholy, Stress.

The Muse ¡ Issue 10

Live, Live your truth Live your life You don't have to be over the moon, But you need to content in your space.


Photography by Grace Kuang

The Diagnosis.

11 Poem by Saesha Kukreja Art by Athena Li

Emotional pain seeps out of the words he says All he can offer is a brighter horizon A hope that one day I will be cured. But once again, my emotions turn jagged Insides feel tight and constricted With a raw, strange feeling of reality Sucking me into a boundless black hole of pain Eyes feel damp Waiting for uncried tears to form Heavy feeling, head spinning Trying to regain balance Searing fiery bursts pulsating Intensifying with each dragging step Pain amplifies Consciousness ebbs Moments of full consciousness and intensity Body unwilling to feel anything at all Deeply wanting to rekindle the joy Ease the excruciating and drilling feeling inside Before the diagnosis.

About the Author

Saesha Kukreja is a junior at Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute in their specialized math and science program, known as the TOPS program. She is an imaginative and ambitious individual who strives to impact change through her love of writing.



Monsters under the bed Poem by Carmen Tu Art by Lyan Abdul

I thought that the flashlight wasn’t bright enough, that they wouldn’t find anything, again. I worried that they’d walk out with a smile, leaving me to fend for myself — There’s nothing there. I wonder if they ever believed me: the bumps that startle me awake, the shakes that throw me to the floor, the bruises that mark me; Monsters as real as the pulse hidden beneath my skin — There’s nothing there. I worried that the machine wasn’t strong enough, that they wouldn’t find anything, again.

The Muse · Issue 10

Monsters Under the Bed


I wonder if they ever believed me: the bumps, the shakes, the bruises; Warnings as real as colours in a microscope — There’s nothing there. But Nothing grows under my bed. Nothing thrives in the darkness. I have Nothing in me, Nothing that I can show you to prove that I have Nothing worth saving. They let me sleep with Nothing to worry about. Nothing under— There, there, There’s nothing there.

About the Author:

Carmen Tu is a PhD student studying the psychology of narrative and storytelling in the NeuroArts Lab at McMaster University. She finds comfort in spending time alone in public spaces where she can disappear and watch peoples stories unfold.

S p e ct r e

Poem by Charles Beckford Art by Amy Zhu

I can’t see you where you’re hiding Wading through, I can’t see my hands in the milky bathwater searching for you If you were to look in the mirror and hate yourself I hope that even through those tearstained eyes The drops that hit your pillow are heard Your wishes and cries, your pleas and sorrows I wish for your world to soften when you awaken, or for mirrors to break If only so, we may love ourselves more

Tell me, who will I find when I push through all of the smoke? Open them, the hazy water stings your eyes and blends with your scars A deep sea muffle that drowns the outside world and thoughts you have of yourself Stay down there and keep your head under the water if you desire My wishes and pleas, the tears that hit your pillow, all mix with the sea But if you choose to emerge and are gasping for air Take my hand, and take my eyes If only so, you could see you’re not as lost as you think you are

Tell me, who do you see when all of the mirrors shatter? Steady yourself, don’t shake underneath their gaze I know it’s hard to stand tall when the pressure is crushing And the world is as low as the ceiling that touches the sea you’re hiding in But imagine their faces They’re shaking under your gaze I’d blind the rest of the world If only so, you could see yourself through your own eyes

So abandon all thoughts of closing them for good

About the Author

Charles Beckford is inspired by many writers of the past and the Decadent Movement, all the while trying to pave his own way. He has a penchant for injecting a drop of Dadaist poison into science.


The Muse · Issue 10



Please offer me a seat.

Please offer me a seat. Please offer me a seat.

"Please offer me a seat" is an effort by the Career Access Program for Students (CAPS) to improve accessibility for transit users who need a seat while travelling, this campaign reflects McMaster University's commitment to provide an inclusive community to all. Badges are not required to sit in priority seating and do not guarantee seating. Those wearing badges may be approached about the campaign, however disclosure of personal information is not required and individuals that feel uncomfortable being approached may direct questions to our Student Success Centre. Badges are available through Compass and the Campus Store at McMaster University. If you want to learn more about our initiatives, please contact us at:

Sydney Cumming Email: Phone: 905-525-9140 ext. 22860 1 (905) 525-9140 x24254

The Muse ¡ Issue 10

The Team


Editors in Chief Samuel Lee Shamir Malik

Advertising and Social Media Coordinators Maya Kshatriya Alexandro Chu Angela Lin

Editorial Board Managing Editors Natalie Palumbo Sarah Fu General Members Alexandria Gonzales Bryan Wong Kelsey Gao Paige Guyatt Sonya Batth Subin Park Yousef Abumustafa

Website Heather Zhao Saud Haseeb


Graphics and Layout Creative Directors Hana Brath Veronica Iksander General Members Amy Zhu Cezera Ene Peri Ren Gracia Chen Lyan Abdul

Blog and Development Coordinators Abeer Ahmad Nicole Areias Karen Li

Finance John Chiong Zahra Abdallah

Events Coordinators Gracie Liu Amit Nehru General Member Chaitali Parkh



Email: Facebook: The Muse

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