Famed neurosurgeon speaks to a packed CSC Ballroom

By Samantha Egan

World renowned pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson delivered a speech in front of a packed crowd in the Curry Student Center Ballroom last night.

The speech, hosted by the Northeastern Chapter of the American Medical Student Association, focused on events in Dr. Carson’s life that influenced his philosophy today.

He described a troubled childhood that was triggered by his mother’s discovery of his father’s other family. His mother moved Carson and his brothers from Detroit to Boston, where they lived in a crowded apartment in a “dismal environment” which included gun shots and cockroaches in his cereal boxes.

Stories from his days throwing rocks at cars and attempting to push the buttons of the class goody-two-shoes, who according to Carson later became a proffessional wrestler, caused laughter from audience members.

However, despite his rebellious actions, Carson said he “couldn’t tell you the capitol of Michigan…couldn’t tell you anything about math or science.”

Carson said his turning point was when his mother restricted the number of shows his Carson and his brothers were able to watch on television and instead took them to the library. According to Carson, his mother never felt sorry for herself or her sons.

“If someone stops looking for excuses,” Carson said, ” they start looking for solutions.” Carson said he began to apply himself in fifth grade with “the same brain but a different opinion of himself.”

Carson said his goal for academic excellence drove him to be accepted at Yale University.

He encouraged the audience to use their own brain power to solve some of the problems within America. The United States needs “young people who are smart and compassionate” who will not solve issues using “bombs and missiles,” he said.

One of the obstacles American students face, Carson said, is lack of recognition. This prompted him to co-found, with his wife the Carson Scholars Fund. This scholarship fund encouraged students from the fourth grade on to achieve academic excellence by giving scholarships of $1,000.

The goal of the organization according to Carson was to “try to put them on the same kind of pedestal as the all-star basketball player”.

Carson ended his speech by spelling out the acronym titling one of his three best selling novel: “Think Big, ” which stands for Talent (“not just the ability to do a dance or sing a song”), honesty, insight, nice, knowledge, books, independent learning and God

The speech lasted slightly over an hour and was well received by the audience.

Alexandra Nutso, a senior speech pathology and audiology major, said she came to the speech to gather information for a class project.

“I thought it was pretty good, he was a good speaker,” she said.

Freshman biology major Marissa Puglisi echoed a similar sentiment.

“I thought it was pretty awesome. I was expecting something really sciencey…but he was inspirational and funny,” Puglisi said.

Sophmore behavorial neuroscience major Anthony Bissell had much in common with Carson. Apart from his interest in neuroscience, Bissell also came from a household with “not a lot of money” and therefore “easily connected” to Carson.

“I thought it was a pretty amazing speech,” he said.

Leave a Reply