SCENE 15

 

Scene 15 opens with Richard studying at his desk, late night before the anatomy exam. Hold for a few moments as Richard studies quietly, both his hands in his hair.

 

Cut to Carolyn's table. She is studying with both her hands in her hair. Hold for a few moments. Carolyn looks up and stares out into space, pensive. Hold for a few seconds. Carolyn picks up the phone and dials a number.

 

Cut back to Richard's room. The phone rings. We hear both voices throughout this conversation. Richard looks at the clock before answering the phone, it's 2:50.

 

Richard

Hello?

 

Carolyn (OS)

How did I know you'd be up.

 

Richard

smiles

Lucky guess.

 

Carolyn (OS)

We can't learn all of this, you know.

 

Cut to Carolyn.

 

Richard (oS)

 

I know.

 

Carolyn

So how do we know when to stop studying, then?

 

Richard (OS)

I don't know.

 

Morph to an hour later. Carolyn is now lying on the ground, still talking to Richard, the phone cord is stretched all the way from her desk.

 

Richard (OS)

And when we got to the bottom of the canyon, it was thirty degrees warmer. We stayed in this bungalow for like 40 pesos, and it was Christmas eve and at midnight there was this procession of children carrying effigies and candles. I wanted to stay there for the rest of my life.

 

Carolyn

Well I'm glad you didn't.

 

Richard (OS)

If I did, you would have learned the origin and insertion of at least five more muscles instead of talking to me.

 

Carolyn closes her eyes, serene. Hold for a few seconds. Cut to Richard, on the floor, phone cord stretched from his desk, staring off into space in silence. Hold for a few seconds. Richard yawns.

 

Carolyn (OS)

Well our test is in four hours. We should spend at least some of that time sleeping, don't you think?

 

Richard

yawns again

Will you call me at seven to make sure I'm awake?

 

Carolyn (OS)

Yeah. Will you call me at five till seven to wake me up so I can call you at seven?

 

Richard

OK.

 

Carolyn (OS)

Good night.

 

Richard

Good night.

 

Richard is too far away from the phone to hang it up. He lies there, arms outstretched, and closes his eyes.

 

Cut to the next morning, anatomy lab practical. Students move around with clipboards, the bell rings, next station. Richard is staring at the specimen, can't make any sense of it. The bell rings and he just stands there staring at it. The next student walks up and stands next to Richard, patiently. Richard examines the specimen for few more moments and then looks at the stud waiting and gives her a look of "whatever. good luck."

 

Cut to student mailboxes, again from mailman perspective. Rapid-fire sequence of our characters pulling out anatomy scores. Carolyn has no reaction, Richard sheepish, Becker nods, Taylor crumples up the paper. Linger on Shoopa, the last person, she is disappointed and stands there, shaking her head.

 

Cut to library entrance. Carolyn walks in and sees Taylor and Shoopa studying at a table across the way. She waves and heads over. Becker and Wally pass by her on their way out of the library, discussing biochemistry. They are so engrossed in conversation they don’t even see Carolyn.

 

Wally

The carbon skeleton of arginine is derived from alpha-ketoglutarate.

 

Becker

But the nitrogen and carbon atoms composing the guanidino group of the arginine side chain come from ammonium and bicarbonate ions.

 

Carolyn

Hey guys!

 

They both looks up briefly but resume their conversation as they pass by.

 

Becker and Wally

Hey Carolyn.

 

Becker

The urea cycle is closed when ornithine is regenerated from arginine...

 

 

Failure Stud is walking out of the library, and passes by her.

 

Carolyn

Hey Johnny!

 

Johnny looks depressed. He tries to force out a smile and pass by Carolyn without responding, but Carolyn puts her hand on his shoulder to stop him.

 

Carolyn

concerned

How are you?

 

Johnny looks at her with droopy eyes, and shakes his head.

 

Carolyn

What's the matter?

 

failure stud

makes a weak attempt to look around to see if anyone's listening

These tests are killing me.

 

Carolyn

We all feel that way.

 

Failure stud

knows that the tests are REALLY killing him, but doesn't want to be a burden

Okay.

He smiles.

 

Carolyn

Try to keep some perspective. In a few years you'll look back on all this and laugh.

 

Failure stud

I hope so. Seeya.

 

Carolyn waves goodbye and sits down with Taylor and Shoopa, who have some books open.

 

Carolyn

What are you guys up to?

 

Taylor

Shoopa is trying to explain how we make pee.

 

Carolyn

Good. I don't understand it, either.

 

Richard walks up.

 

Richard

Good news, guys. After we finish biochem on Thursday we start Genetics, and get to learn this

 

Richard plops down a hefty syllabus.

 

in three weeks.

 

Taylor

dismayed

Oh, god.

 

Shoopa

Oh come on Taylor, it can't be that bad - you already learned it last year.

 

Taylor

It is that bad, which is why I didn't learn it last year.

He puts his hand on the syllabus

400 pages, and the only thing I remember is that you shouldn't have kids with your sister.

 

Carolyn

So it wasn't a complete waste of time...

 

Taylor

You know, before I came to this godforsaken city I could make A's and enjoy myself. Now it seems that every additional point I get on an exam is one fewer episode of SportsCenter I get to watch.

 

Richard

One fewer hour of sleep.

 

Taylor

One fewer beer with a friend.

 

Shoopa

You guys are breaking my heart. If you want to sleep, drink beers with your friends, and watch SportsCenter all day then don't be a doc. Go dig ditches.

 

Taylor

Here we go. Now tell me how much smarter, harder-working, and more benevolent doctors are than everyone else.

 

Carolyn

She didn't say that Taylor, just that they have to learn Genetics.

 

Taylor

At what cost? Do you think I can live like them?

 

Taylor points at a table of three chinese students studying.

 

Shoopa

How do they live?

 

Cut to chinese table. The three chinese students speak in Chinese, with English subtitles.

 

CHinese stud 1 (In chinese with english subtitles)

looking at Taylor,Shoopa,Richard,Carolyn

Every time I come to the library those guys are here, studying.

 

CHINESE STUD 2 (IN CHINESE WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

They're like machines.

 

Cut back to white table.

 

Shoopa

Of course they have a life.

 

Taylor

They do not get laid.

 

Cut back to Chinese table.

 

CHINESE STUD 1 (IN CHINESE WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

Are you suggesting that white people don't have sex?

 

CHINESE STUD 2 (IN CHINESE WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

I've never seen it.

 

CHINESE STUD 1 (IN CHINESE WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

How do they continue the species?

 

Cut to a few days later, Richard's room, late night. He's studying, and after a few moments we hear an explosion. Richard is startled and irritated, and walks out into the hallway. He tries to open Skeeter's room but it's locked as usual. He pounds on the door.

 

Richard

angry

Hey!

 

Skeeter (OS)

No worries!

 

Richard

I have an exam tomorrow!

 

Skeeter (OS)

Everything's under control in here!

 

Richard walks back to his room, frustrated.

 

Richard

to himself

Gentle nonsmoker.

 

Cut to biochem test the next morning for a few moments.

 

Cut to mailboxes, film like previous mailbox scenes. Carolyn, Taylor, and Richard are disappointed with their grades, but receive the news with more resignation. Shoopa can not accept her grade, and curses the score report as she slams her box, giving us a black screen.