Out Cold

Steven’s face turned pale white and his heart beat was slow. As a PhD student, I enjoy the weekly pleasures of going to seminar. There are ten seminars every semester and they are designed for engagement with relevant topics in the field of Biblical Studies. Over half of these seminars bring world-leading scholars while the other sessions are devoted to third year PhD students, both of which present new research topics in the field. Students and staff are then able to engage with the presenter by asking questions and critiquing their lecture. Steven and I share an office space (sitting next to each), and he was the first person I found it quite easy to connect with at the University. In the hustle of academia’s aim at “put-together-ness,” he was a fresh breath of air. He is from California, talks skateboarding, plays guitar, sounds like a stoner, and wears Vans…my kind of guy! [Leah and I got to hang, talk about Edinburgh’s terrible Mexican food, and jam on guitar with him and his wife. They’re a blast!]

During my first week I was excited to attend seminar and get into the swing of things. I looked over at Steven and asked him, “Who’s up for this week’s seminar?” He laughed and said, “Me!” Being that it was the first seminar, nearly 60 people showed up (all students were invited to this one). Steven, by the advice of his wife, was dressed in some dapper (many layers) wear. Our meeting convened and Steven began. He did great! However, during the question and critique time Steven began to turn pale and sweat quite profusely. Some thought it was nerves and others thought the questions had stumped him. He suddenly stopped and said, “I’m sorry everyone, but I think I’m about to pass out.” Being the kind of guy Steven is most of the room began to laugh. However, I could see that he was really not doing well. So, in the middle of his lecture I ran over to him and was able to catch him before he passed out cold. He was unconscious for about ten seconds and incoherent for close to a minute. Once he regained consciousness I was able to help him get his blood sugar up and some food in his stomach. Many people don’t know that I worked in EMS for a few years. I was thankful I could use my training to help Steven. After the whole ordeal, one of the professors dubbed me, “On call” EMS at all future seminars. I gladly accepted the new title.