Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A White Coat, A Beginning

Last weekend, Lovely Daughter #1 had her White Coat Ceremony on the grounds of USC's Keck School of Medicine.

Families gathered on the big, tree-lined quad, patiently waiting for the proceedings to begin.

It resembled a graduation ceremony, with the white tents, folding chairs, the school colors done up in flowers, the dais, the speakers, the printed program. The major difference was this ceremony marked not an ending, but a beginning.

Three of these silver bangles were my mother's. I wore them in her memory. She and my dad would not have missed this moment for the world, if they were still living.

Before the ceremony started, Lovely Daughter #2 and The Boy killed time by reading from some website that described the 10 Most Vicious Animals in Nature. This is his reaction to some particularly grisly description of an animal attack:

Finally, the ceremony began. The faculty receiving honors filed in to their seats:

And then to piped-in martial music, the class of 2015 processed in, with their white coats over their arms:

LD#1, all smiles!
There were speeches and faculty awards:

This is the Vice Dean for Medical Education. The moment he opened his mouth, everybody stirred in their seats to get a better look at him. He had the most deep, rich, gorgeous voice. He could've done voice-overs, if he already didn't have a pretty good job!

And then the medical students--all 180 of them--filed up on the dais one by one to put on their jackets. I loved that they didn't put them on by themselves. Each was helped into his or her white coat by one of the senior faculty:

That's LD #1, in the blue dress, watching a student ahead of her get his jacket.

It just felt...more touching that way. Like the ones that go before, turning around to help the ones that follow behind them in their illustrious footsteps. And then it was her turn:

Here, LD #1 is sharing a word with Dr. Sexy Voice:

...and receiving a book from another faculty member:

This is the book that every student received. It's a wonderful anthology that I am sorely tempted to steal from LD#1:

When the last student (Zusmanovich) was be-jacketed, the entire class of 2015 stood up...

... to recite aloud the Hippocratic Oath:

It gave me goosebumps. This oath has been used since the late Fourth Century as part of the induction of medical professionals. I love the line "I will lead my life and practice my art in uprightness and honour." A lovely goal for anybody, don't you think?

All smiles, and processing out.

The dais flowers, done in USC's colors of cardinal and gold.

Each student received this pin. Sweet, how the arms of the stethoscope form a heart:

And every student got this pin:

And their name tag:

After the ceremony, the students turned over their coats for a brief time, to have their names professionally embroidered on the breast pocket area.

Here's a very proud, very happy daddy:

...and LD#2, the new housemate to LD#1:

Sibling picture!:

He's smiling a big smile, even though he knows that years of tuition payments are staring us in the face!

And then she took us on a tour of the building, and down the hall to where her study carrell is. I lagged behind a bit to get these shots:

...and a frisson ran through me, as I realized how much she looked just like a doctor, going down the hall on her rounds in a hospital, talking to her colleages:

A doctor with very good, very pretty legs:

And nice taste in shoes:

And so went the first day of the next four years of her life.

Oh, I am so proud!

1 comment:

  1. I'm full of goosebumps!! What an amazing, spectactular, monumental, emotional, memorable, beautiful day!! Thanks so much for sharing - I almost felt like I was there (I can SEE her as a doctor - right now!) I'm SO happy for her happiness, and yours! xoxo



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