During the last module of our first year of medical school, while some of us were simply trying to wrap our minds around this whole bilirubin/jaundice thing (although I do understand the jaundice/carotenemia distinction), several dedicated members of our student leadership were hard at work preparing our first annual student banquet. This banquet was held the night of our last exam as first year medical students, following our faculty/staff awards ceremony. I'm not sure if we were just looking really haggard during those last couple of weeks, but during the faculty/student awards ceremony, our professors just could not stop raving about how good we looked. After presenting awards to outstanding members of our faculty, staff, and classmates (and reminding them what we look like without white coats and coffee), we were sent off to enjoy our banquet.
Our banquet was, first and foremost, our own. No faculty, no significant others. Just the members of the little family that our class has slowly become over this year. Oh, and the bartender and police officer whose presence was required in order to have alcohol at the event. [These were deemed acceptable intrusions].
We'd really been looking forward to banquet. As evidence of this enthusiasm, I'd like to let it be known that the three ladies of our women's early morning weight lifting group (more on that in another post) were discussing what to wear to banquet during our ab exercises when we still had two more weeks of class to go.
The amount of planning to pull off this banquet was immense. But of course, nothing that our student leadership couldn't handle. Committees were formed and mobilized. Venues were found. Catering was obtained--and here, I make a special shout out to our class president (who also happens to be my life hero), for specifically seeking me out one day and telling me that she had personally ensured that there would be vegetables for me and my fellow class vegetarians (hey, Ashley!) to eat. Kosher meals were also obtained. If I hadn't spent the better part of this last year being continually amazed by the organizational and planning abililties of my classmates, I'd be pretty sure that witchcraft was involved in creating this event. Come Friday night, everything went off flawlessly, even more beautifully than could have been imagined. Mingling amongst ourselves free of exam stress, reliving moments flashing by on the slideshow, and taking non-sleeping pictures of our classmates, one could never have guessed that the best part of the evening was still to come.
The Schmidty awards.
A few weeks earlier, a committee had been formed to create tongue-in-cheek awards for the class. Categories had been drafted and made into a survey that was distributed to the class for voting. This committee had then nominated Louis to act as MC for the ceremony. Having had Louis in my GI PBL group, I was well aware of two things: his love of PBL snacks and his on-point presentation skills. If someone can make a really interesting talk about how how MELD formulas are used by UNOS, you know you that person's pretty gifted. Louis did not disappoint. Over the course of the evening, he introduced each award, listed the nominees, and then, with the perfect amount of suspense, presented each winner with a Schmidty.
Oh, the Schmidties. Words can't even come close to doing these guys justice, so please see the photo below. Or the banner of this blog. Susie labored tirelessly to envision and create these awards. What other girl could take a vision and combine it with Ken dolls, spray paint, tiny doll-sized suits, and bulk-order gas filters to create THESE?
They were perfect. The detail went down to their little ties, which Susie had had painstakingly decorated checker by checker. Each Schmidty had then been mounted on what we later learned was a spray-painted gas filter (brilliant!) with gold pen lettering the award name. Word of these awards spread so quickly that first thing Monday morning, our curriculum started off our "Orientation to Competency Week" with a request for "one of those little dolls!" Susie, you done good.
The titles being awarded by the Schmidties showed equal creativity and covered a wide range of qualities deserving recogntion. For a full list, you'll have to enroll in our school. But here are some highlights:
The Prozac Award: given to the student with the unique ability to brighten one's mood as well as SSRIs without the month-long lag time.
The Paula Deene Award: given to the student most likely to induce diabetes with baking skills.
The Anna Nicole Smith Award: given, in a shocking turn of events, to yours truly, for being most likely to marry a wealthy elderly gentleman. This is most likely going to happen, but probably just because I won't get around to dating until I'm retired.
The Owlsley Award: given to the student having the most school spirit. Please note the recipient of this award was the only one who noticed that we'd spelled "Owlsley" wrong, thus proving how much she truly deserved the award in the first place.
Congratulations to the winners of these, and all other Schmidties. And to our indescribable curriculum director: I'm not sure that it's possible to express with a Schmidty how grateful we are for your endless support, dedication, sheer curriculum brilliance, and genuine passion for transforming us into successful physicians. But at least it'll be a start. :)
A huge thanks again to all of those who worked so hard to make banquet such a success.
Some more photos from the evening!
Now that I think about it, we really did look pretty good!