*Since I technically graduated from medical school in September of 2016, going to a commencement ceremony in June of 2017 felt super weird to me, so I decided not to go. Oh, and, if I had gone, I'm pretty sure they wouldn't have let me give a speech.... But y'all don't mind do you? Nah, I didn't think so.
To my esteemed colleagues, friends, and family: Welcome.
We've worked incredibly hard to get here. But, it is only right that we should have worked hard to get here for now we find ourselves continuing in the tradition of the long and noble line of physicians who have gone before us.
Together, we have done a lot of living. We have seen things. We have watched each other grow and learn and struggle and do better. We have cried tears of joy and tears of sadness together. We have provided each other with comfort when comfort seemed impossible. We went from a group of strangers with a common goal to becoming each others family.
There is an intensive pre-med framework in place at UF. There are counselors specifically dedicated to students in the pre-med track. These counselors pretty much direct you in everything that you need to do to get into medical school from the moment you set foot on campus and declare yourself to be "pre-med." That was a problem for me, because at no point had I considered myself to be "pre-med," let alone declared myself "pre-med." I spent half of undergrad with the plan of becoming a forensic anthropologist. It wasn't until I spent some time in the bone lab that I realized living and breathing humans were the ones for me.
Once I decided medicine was going to be the right path for me, I made an appointment to see the pre-med counselor. I figured the counselor would be able to give me some good advice. The meeting started out fine. She told me what remaining classes I'd need to take and that I should probably get some research experience.…
In senior year of high school I took a (world?) history class with a professor named Dr. Schmidt. I don't remember what the class was called, or, really, a ton about the content in general. Dr. Schmidt was sweet, but a little drone-y and I had a difficult time maintaining alertness, but I tried.
To Dr. Schmidt's credit, ten years later, I still remember him talking about Mao and his famous (infamous?) five-year plans for China.
Now, senior year of high school is a point in life where everybody and their brother thinks they have a right, no, a need, to ask you what your life plan is. And saying that you didn't know is simply unacceptable.
As a high-schooler this enraged me.
I was 18 years old, barely old enough to vote, not even old enough to drink, and everybody from Great Aunt Linda to my favorite cashier at Publix wanted to ask me what my plan was.
And every time someone asked me to describe in detail this epic plan that they just knew I had for myself all I could thi…
"One thought of doubt in your mind is the devil." -Rinzai
When I was itty-bitty, probably 7-ish, I took a test to get into Gifted Classes. Looking back now, I can tell you it was an IQ test, but at the time all I knew was that my best friend got to leave our regular class one day a week to go to this reallyreallycool class where they built things and ate things and blew things up and boy did I want to join her, and to join her I had to take this test and do well.
From what I remember, tests in general didn't have a ton of consequences as a kid. Either you got it or you didn't and if you didn't someone would help you figure it out.
But for this particular test, I understood the stakes. I really really wanted to get out of regular class.
The exam was administered by some Random Lady I only have a vague recollection of, but I'm pretty sure it happened in the guidance counselor's office. I remember Random Lady asking me questions and giving me puzzl…
Around these parts they keep telling me I talk funny. And, I will admit I do play it up sometimes, but I figure I better not go getting above my raising. The other day somebody gave me a hard time about my liberal use of the word "y'all" and how they couldn't use it because people would think that they were "uneducated." I smiled and nodded and didn't worry my pretty little head about it one bit.
That is, until later, when it hit me like a ton of bricks that the person I had just had a conversation with pretty much called me uneducated to my face. Now, I don't take kindly to being insulted- no one does- but I just find being insulted to my face a little much. It made me just want to take the ridiculous colloquialisms up to a whole new level. I got to thinking about the phrases I loved as a kid and still get a good ole kick out of to this day, so I compiled a little list.