Well, technically we are not. But if 'graduation' means leaving university - then we qualify. We would begin our clerkship at the hospital next year, officially ending our daily routines in the university - which is actually just two doors away.
For convenience' sake of the Graduation Committee we were grouped with this year's graduation class in production of the year book. So literally we haven't finish school but we have our year book, updated as of January 2010. The great thing about a year book - all the good things you wish you could remember longer - winning champion in whatever small competition, stayovers and class trips, group gatherings and summer projects; the bad things about a year book - all the bad things you wish you could forget - very complicated relationships (we even plotted out an inter-class "network"), crazy subjects, obscene stupidities, broken promises.
I was thinking if bad memories would one day, like wine, mature into something pleasant to remember. I believe it can - because being humans, we learn from our mistakes. When we have weathered the storm and look back from a sea of brilliant sunshine, all the bad experiences won't feel too bad. The lessons we learned sort of sweetened them. Something we would cherish in our hearts.
It would perhaps be too naive to say if we can discuss all our mistakes in one fine enchanted evening during a class reunion - some scars are too deep to probe, and they best stay under the carpet. However, I find that talking improves the embarrassment and denial related to mistakes.
Back to the point, its a bittersweet feeling to flip through your own year book when you actually have 3 more years to go. It's a milestone - leaving the university, leaving behind all the stupid policies and staff who are employed to enforce them, leaving good, dedicated teachers, leaving the library that closes on Sunday morning (even though we're a Buddhist school).
The hospital is another ecosystem altogether - big bully seniors, nice charming seniors, eccentric residents, even more eccentric chiefs, nurses that could make your life heaven or hell, patients who love hospitals; patients who hate hospitals; patients who speak a totally different language. Goals and objectives change, as with all the different lessons to learn. In university it might be the entire chapter on antibiotics; in hospital it is "how to convince your patient to take his medication" or "how to get him to stop complaining about a symptom that you're positive it isn't there".
I guess 'graduation' is only an euphemism for 'welcome to a crazy life'. Yes, that's why they want us in the year book here and now - that explains it.
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