After two months of planning and trying to analyze every conceivable scenario with a “what could go wrong” mentality, I realized the product of my paranoia Friday evening at the class of 2014’s white coat ceremony.
Now I’m not exactly the superstitious kind, but having the ceremony on Friday the 13th was bound to spell trouble in some shape or form. Would someone trip on stage? Would one of the speakers show up late? Would the flowers never make it on time? Would the ceremony get delayed? Would rainy weather prevent the group picture from being taken as originally planned? All of these things were out of my direct control, but everything ended up falling in place perfectly… except for the venue.
I arrived at the Crowne Plaza hotel with roughly ten of my classmates around 3:15 pm to set up the registration tables, verify that the patio furniture had been cleared, made sure the stage was set up accordingly, etc. Come to find out, some pipe had burst and taken out all the toilets as well as most of the lobby air conditioning. Not for ten minutes, not for an hour, but well into the process of alphabetizing the MS1s. Having the group picture in the ridiculously hot/humid Houston summer is bad enough, but not having to have a nice, cool place to retreat to is even worse. It really, REALLY killed me having to see their gleaming personas replaced with sweaty frustration. 🙁
In spite of the air conditioning/bathroom disaster, many of the MS1s were incredibly gracious in sending me e-mails of congratulations and appreciation for putting the event together with the other MS2s. I had the privilege of meeting several of their families the following morning at Family Day, and we joked about how something always seems to go wrong when it’s least expected. I guess they’re right. 😀
All in all, I was extremely satisfied with the actual ceremony in the air conditioned ball room. The speeches were great and hopefully reassured the MS1s that what they’re feeling two weeks into medical school is perfectly normal and going to become more natural as they progress. Transitions were smooth, and the entire event finished earlier than expected (less than an hour and a half). I also had an indescribably cooperative and supportive group of my classmates volunteer their Friday evenings to help facilitate the success of the event.
Now that the Class of 2014 has completed its rite-of-passage into the medical community, I’ve got a lot of studying to catch up on. 😉