Sunday, June 14, 2009
Buck to school
One of the hallmarks of my grade school education was the ever-present formal theme writing entry on "My Summer Vacation." In it I would regale my teachers, with tales of many a happy summer moment, usually spent playing in the street in front of our house or trips to my parents' hometown, my awful handwriting notwithstanding. As the years passed, summers continued to be welcome respite from the rigors of the just-concluded academic year.
I would often hear adults around me lament the absence of such timed, mandatory breaks; they didn't have to tell me twice to enjoy the summer breaks while I still had them. My first brush with an almost summer-less year was during internship, when we were in the hospital practically until the first week of April, took about three weeks off, then we were on duty almost every three days from May 1st to April 30th of the following year, including most holidays and foul weather.
Then when I did the crossover to the other side of the teacher's table, summer still meant a 40-hour work week but with less work. I somehow had more time to do personal and professional exploits. And this summer past was no exception. I probably traveled more and saw more places in the last two, three months than I have in my entire lifetime, literally and figuratively.
I was physically present for a good number of days in Cebu, Pampanga (where I had the thrill of a lifetime- flying near Mt. Arayat aboard an ultralight plane), Tagaytay, and parts of Mindanao like Cotabato City. But I likewise had the opportunity to do vicarious visits to places I've never heard of before like Pitogo, Zamboanga Del Sur or Tanudan in Kalinga Province. Words can hardly articulate the experiences hence the dearth of blog posts about these sojourns. Soon, when I've ruminated on them enough, I'd probably be able to regurgitate something intelligent. I just hope I don't take too long lest I forget the details and workmatters inundate and displace my memories of the summers past...
Suffice it to say, I am one with the myriad Filipino students who will be trooping back to school tomorrow- A(H1N1) fears and all. There is a tinge of sadness that summer for me officially ends today. I am heartened by the truth, though, that the school year unfolding IS still one great intellectual journey, with new medical students to engage in cerebral sparring and academic jousts, as we encourage and challenge them to remain steady in the course of rebuilding and strengthening the nation through quality, equitable health care.
Bon voyage. All aboard please!
(This is also an entry to this week's PhotoHunt: Lock. Thank goodness the harness and its fasteners held me in place; four hundred feet is a looong way down. For the record, I was in never in any danger. The flight was absolutely safe. Want a similar experience? Visit the Angeles City Flying Club for more details.)