Gala Dinner: Great Evening

I have written before of the virtues of a well-balanced life. Tonight it was proven to me once again.

As the a member of the Academic Affairs Council of the university, I was invited to attend a special prestige evening held for the top achieving first years of 2010.

Reasons to attend included – but were not restricted to: There will be food, there will be dessert, I get to dress up, I get to go to a lovely vineyard away from Parow.

Reasons not to attend were restricted mainly to the fact that I would be expected to play hostess to a table of students and lecturers. Playing hostess to people I don’t know is new to me. I tend to say or do embarrassing things in the presence of big-wigs.

Obviously food and dressing-up won, so I went. It was nice, I love heels and evening gowns and meeting new people (even scary-looking professors).

I ended up meeting a Doctor of History (I almost mistook her for a student) and must say that this was one of the most enriching experiences of my week. I loved history at school – and politics and writing and plays, and all sorts of things not necessarily related to medicine.

She and her student (each top first year nominates a lecturer who made a profound impact on their studies) decided that I would not become a normal doctor, but work for MSF. And of course we all found it rather uncanny since that is already the plan.

I also met someone who is doing is PhD on the integration of community and service providers with Ukwanda, the rural-school-system of our university. The idea is basically interprofessional co-operation: medicine, physiotherapy, dietetics, dentistry, nursing, social work, architecture…  even more reason for us to have variety in our life experience from the very start. The only way for society to progress from the plateau it is at at the moment, is for members of different professions to work in a truly integrated manner.

It was great talking about history and current events and language. It was also great talking about medicine to non-medical individuals. To be quite frank, it was great being made aware of my own shortcomings, my own ignorance in some areas.

I feel refreshed. Actually – I feel inspired.

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