Thursday, August 30, 2012

Mean Mugs: A small group tradition.

 mean mug (n. or v.) : 

When someone gives you a hard look.
Best when done for no apparent reason whatsoever. 
Can also be done in parking lots or while standing on street corner.
synonym: "ice grill" or "hairy eyeball"

Zachary perfects his mean mug for football

When my first small group of medical students first joined me in 2007, somewhere early on we developed this funny tradition with photos. With just about every group photo opportunity we'd take the standard happy posed shot. . .followed by what we affectionately called "the mean mug." I think it all started one day when I was teaching them and one of the students was scowling for some reason.

"What's up with the way you're mean mugging me?" I asked.

They all erupted into laughter. The term stuck and eventually became something handed down to my other small groups.

So here's a few of our mean mugs through the years. . . .started by Small Group Alpha and carried on by Small Groups Beta and Gamma. I'm pretty sure I'll have some snapshots of Small Groups Delta and Epsilon mean muggin' before you know it.

Shall we take a walk down Mean Mug Memory Lane?

Mean muggin' at Pure Taqueria, our SG family's go-to Mexican restaurant
Mean muggin' at the AIDS Walk

Mean muggin' at Dougie's wedding

Again, us mean muggin' on Match Day. (That's apple cider. I think.)

Mean muggin' at 2011 graduation banquet

Why not mean mug somebody at commencement?
And why not do it again the following year?

Family mean mug at AIDS Walk 2011

Yet another family mean mug at my house--significant others included.

At Dougie's request: Mean mug on the wards with our team. (with some novice mean muggers)

The tradition continues: Mean muggin' at Pure Taqueria Mexican

Quasi-family mean mug. Zachary has the meanest mug-- even in a tie!

Mean muggin' at the White Coat Ceremony. James had the best one here on the right.

And mean muggin' with the Gammites (SG Gamma) last week. Except for James who is paradoxically happy.
Oh--and my favorite: CQ STILL mean muggin' as a second year ENT resident in the OR! (This is an advanced mean mug.)

And what does this have to do with their medical education? Absolutely nothing.

Happy Thursday. Again.


  1. Oh, you know how to have fun!Love love love the pictures. How do you look so good making your mean mugs? My daughter's sand volleyball coach does that with every group shot too - one normal for the webpage and one fierce for fun. Thanks for some fun in my morning.

    1. Love it! If I had all girls we'd call it "fierce" and not "mean mug!" :)

  2. You had long hair in the Aids walk mean mug!?

    The most hilarious is the significant other mean mug because there looks like there might be a fight on the back row.

    And in the novice mean mug, must you choke people?

    Can you do me a favor, find Target lady and mean mug her. I double dog dare you!!

    1. There is totally a rumble on the back row! The long-ish hair during that AIDS Walk in 2008 was a brainfart I was having where I thought about growing my hair out. CRAZINESS, I tell you. I think it was somehow inspired by Rihanna in the UM-BA-RELLA-ELLA-ELLA days.

      I quickly got back to my senses.

      I will surely mean mug Teenaged Mutant Target Checkout Chick fo sho.

  3. Some of the mean-muggers are more of sexy-pouters me thinks ;)

    -- Tara

    PS: Zachary is positively dwarfed by the ginormous helmet and the oh-so-adorable mean mugger!

    1. Isn't Zachary adorable in that big ol' helmet? He told me that there is no smiling for football photos. Ha.

  4. You should see my Sweet 26 month old grandbaby, "Madi". She makes the meanest mugs!!! Gotta Love it!

    1. OMG! Little baby mean mugs are the BEST and the MEANEST of all! Go Madi! LOL!

  5. I think it has some application to their medical education. You always have to take a break, re-charge, usually by doing something utterly ridiculous. LOL (Stretch? Ehhh... I'm a communicator! I can help you stretch like this all the time!) You've gotta teach some of them not to smile when they're muggin. LOLOL You also make me wanna cry every time you mention delicious Atlanta restaurants. I miss you, Atlanta!! I'll be back!!

  6. I bet you'd give a great mean mug, Jameil! Ha ha ha! Sometimes I just mean mug people for no reason. It's only when I am far enough to run or drive away quickly, though. Hee hee.

  7. My mean mug always involves a raised eyebrow and my kids once did a veritable stand-up routine describing the degree of my anger based on the height of my eyebrow. Hilarious! Loved the can feel the relationship you cultivate with your students and that is all about their medical education. Love, Coach B

  8. It's the opposite here in Cameroon. People laugh a lot but look stern and absolutely dour in pictures so I agree to take their photo only if we can do one "American-style" afterwards. Smiling as culture sharing?


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