not myself

last week, i came home one day to find an old, stained envelope on my table. it was addressed to my parents and bore the logo of my primary school in hong kong. when i opened it up, i found out that it contained a progress report of my first term in that school. i was 7 years old at the time.

the main headings were on personal and social development, english, mathematics, science, topic work, the arts, p.e. and health education, and general comments. my class teacher, ms mounsey (i used to think of her as ms mouse-y), wrote the report and i smiled at what she wrote.

shun is showing independence and initiative, and is a well-motivated and enthusiastic pupil. she is sometimes a little too attention-seeking and is encouraged to think carefully before she speaks. she has been motivated by choosing her own reading books and selects a wide range of interest and levels, including poetry. her story-writing is exciting and full of humour and sound effects, it lends itself to being read out by the teacher or shun herself. she likes to think of maths questions to ask the rest of the class. shun is a both knowledgeable and logical thinker. she is showing some leadership qualities but is always considerate of others’ contributions. shun is a happy vivacious girl who has been a very welcome addition to our class. her standard of work is excellent and she really does show a positive attitude to all activities in school. she is a pleasure to teach.

when i finished reading, i couldn’t help but wonder “what happened to that girl?” these days, i feel more discouraged than motivated to try or work harder. my standard of work has fallen, i would rather remain silent than offer suggestions because they’re almost always wrong anyway (plus where in medicine is there space to guess?), and i am a pessimist regarding pretty much everything.

today, we had a basic trauma life support course. from the very moment i went into the room, i did everything that i would not have done perhaps 3 or 4 years ago. i went in completely unprepared, having not read the manual before the course. i didn’t revise whatever i learnt during my stint in the a&e department at sungai buloh, i didn’t go through in detail the slides my friend had sent to us a couple of days before. i didn’t think before i answered the questions, i couldn’t recall a single thing i learnt in my previous rotations.

i did everything that i deemed unacceptable for anyone in my position, at the place where i am right now, in the penultimate year of medical school, a mere 14 months away from graduation. heck, i deem it unacceptable for any student. i never did that in school, i was always prepared. i have always made it a point to excel…always, up until now.

knowledgable? logical? leadership qualities? where did they go? where did i lose those attributes i once had, because i would love to go back and retrieve them.

i don’t think i’m going to be a safe doctor, but that’s not the worst part. the worst thing is…i don’t have to motivation to change that possibility. i don’t want to put in the effort to change that fatalistic mentality. i just don’t want to. because i don’t see the point.

i don’t see the point anymore. damnit i hate being whiny!


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