SUM in Memories

21 jul 2023

Get to know the stories of people who became associated with the Silesian Medical University many years ago - first studying, today working. These are memories of exceptional people - full of passion and willingness to share their knowledge with more SUM students today.

Prof. dr. hab. n. med. and n. o zdr. Monika Adamczyk-Sowa - Head of the Department of Neurology of the Faculty of Medical Sciences in Zabrze. Privately - mother of 19-year-old-Agata and 15-year-old-Peter; wife of Pawel, associate professor of laryngology at the Zabrze Clinic. She enjoys cycling, sailing, skiing, karaoke and inventing new recipes.

Our college years were the turn of the century, even the millennium; a time of great change and opening to foreign countries. 

When I think back to my student years at the Faculty of Medicine in Zabrze, from which I graduated in 2002, I return to a time of beautiful experiences, above all those related to learning medicine and making lifelong friends. In my thoughts, I recall above all the academic campus in Rokitnica.

We returned there already as doctors and a young married couple, where we lived for several years in an assistant hotel while working in the physiology department. There we took our first steps into adulthood, there our children appeared. We know Rokitnica at different times of the year - from throwing snowballs, to the flowered old rhododendrons in front of Physiology, to the golden-copper park with chestnuts and ceps... For me, it is a place very close to the heart, an extraordinary place. Many people value it for the unique microclimate that prevails here. 

Studying at Zabrze Medicine at that time was not only an exploration of knowledge, but also a wealth of anecdotal stories, only a small part of which is suitable for making public :)

I remember from anatomy entrance exercises so-called "pins" driven into various places of already heavily used preparations. I remember, an exam in hygiene, where at 2 am we lined up in front of the villa, so that from 3:30 we could proceed to pass, because it was supposedly, according to Mr. Professor, "the best time for constructive thinking was". :) 

We believed that after passing pharmacology, which we considered a bridge between theory and clinical, it would be downhill from there. But at the same time pharmacology was what we feared the most. We learned and composed songs to the tune of a well-known shanty, paraphrasing its original lyrics. To this day I still have it in my memory:

"I am a farm assistant known, I am the menacing Sandokan,

In the first lesson I don't scare you, then you will start to fear me.

I have read all the books, and I have gone through the scripts too,

If you don't go through it, then for September, your strength is measured..." 

Clinical classes were the dormitories "on Sklodowska Street", the Pean student club and the "Tourist Medical Academy" - Zabrze, Bytom, Sosnowiec, Katowice, Gliwice....

The big attraction was the closed blocks of gynecology. We waited for them with curiosity. Hungry for knowledge, thirsty for integration. We lived together in large, multi-person rooms. We arranged our duty rosters. We drew lots as to who would be called to the block at night, and who would have a nice time with late-night talks and games. 

Being on the first block from psychiatry, we started a seminar, led, as it turned out later, by a patient of the ward. We listened with great interest, probably no one would have realized, because we even already had a thematically related colloquium announced, if not for a real assistant who interrupted this class. 

But of course, studying in Zabrze, it was not only science. 

It was the time of reactivating and running the student newspaper "Zez". Together with my husband Paul (currently a doc at the Department of Laryngology in Zabrze) and my colleagues from the "medical and stoma" we edited the magazine. At first we published it using a cottage industry method - duplicating on photocopiers in the rector's office. Later, thanks to the support of the authorities of the university and friends such as "Mrs. B", the academic pastoral, advertising "Roma" cinema and "Marzenie" cinema, we were able to print it even in color version. 

A lot of satisfaction gave us with Paul the establishment of a student choir. We invited our female colleagues, whom we knew from various events and knew that they had excellent voices. We asked the dean for the opportunity to repair the piano in the academic "3" in Zabrze, which we were happy to discover in the TV room. The conductor became the husband of our colleague Agnieszka - Leszek, who was a professional musician. We sang various repertoire - both at university ceremonies, but also at shanties.

In retrospect, reaching back to the period of study, despite the enormity of study and hard work, I recall those years with a tear in my eye, as extremely colorful and carefree.

For more than 25 years I have been permanently connected with our Zabrze Faculty of Medicine. Zabrze is the cradle of our University, the place where everything began and where history meets the present. But, what has undoubtedly always distinguished the Zabrze Faculty are the people. I thank good fortune that this university became my Alma Mater.

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