26th-28th June was Graduation Weekend at Cambridge University.
Getting to graduation, for me, has been one long struggle; from dodging the hardbound copies of Gray's Anatomy hurled at me by angry professors to actually passing the exams to finding the correct damn graduation gown hood with the correct damn fur lining culled from the correct damn near-extinct species of Mickey Mouse-shape-toothed Siberian tiger. (Extract from actual Graduation Day notice to students: "The Praelector will strictly enforce the dress code on graduation day for all students and you will not be allowed to graduate if, for example, your socks are the wrong colour*.")
But I made it. I made it through 3 years of getting a ego-battering every day, of trying to survive in the midst of people who were so obviously superior to me, and who often didn't like me due to my different sense of humour, my different accent, and my general weirdness. So I don't have any regrets as I look back on this place one last time before I leave it.
Cambridge taught me many things, and although I didn't agree with its education system, I can't deny that it IS very good. (If getting your head forcibly crammed with theoretical jargon by researchers who see the light of day less often than Amy Winehouse appears in public respectably and seeing patients twice a year is your idea of a good pre-clinical education, that is. --Ed.) Maybe not for me, but generally. (So says the Times, anyway. Okay, okay, I'll stop with the schizophrenic double-talk already. --Ed)
So on to clinical school! I visit Cambridge often enough that people see me more often than when I actually studied there, but it'll be great to proceed to clinical school and start finally
So yeah. I'm back, folks. And if you think my adventures at clinical school are going to be any less funny-in-a-sickening-schadenfreude-way, read on and (hopefully) laugh. (Unless you live within my clinical school's NHS catchment area, of course. In which case the next time your doctor asks if it's okay if a medical student takes your blood, FOR GOD'S SAKE SAY NO. --Ed.)
*One of my classmates unfortunately forgot to read this fine print on the Graduation notice, and was told his socks were the wrong shade of black for the ceremony. Yes, you read that right; Cambridge praelectors are trained to recognise DIFFERENT FRIGGIN' SHADES OF BLACK. Luckily for him his dad wore the correct colour of socks, and he was forced to trade socks with his dad 10 minutes before the Graduation Parade.
If there's one thing I've learnt at Cambridge, it's to ALWAYS read the bloody fine print on anything. One final-year student read the rules in so much detail he found a 16th-century regulation that allowed all candidates sitting for his exam to demand one leg of roast ham and a glass of wine during the paper. Unfortunately for him he hadn't read far enough; upon asking for his food and wine in the exam hall his demands were met, but he was then fined for not wearing a sword. Guess you can't win 'em all. Still want a copy of the prospectus?