Letters to the Editor
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Medicamp ' 97
Orientation is an important step taken by all medical students. It is the best time for them to get to know their fellow classmates whom they will be spending the next five years with and, of course, to find out what lies ahead of them. Medicamp has long been an initiation rite of sorts, an annual ritual whereby freshmen are inducted into the medical fraternity. Medicamp 97, the themed illumination, was held at Camp Christine. This was to be the grounds where both freshmen and seniors alike, would find in themselves the true esssence of being a medical student.
Amongst the flurry of activities, a few were especially worth savoring. Horror Nite, a witches brew of worms, skeletons, blood and gore, stood out for the campy fun it afforded. The seniors endeavored to frighten the freshmen whilst the freshmen on their part, feigned fear.
Arguably, Blind Mans Alley, an obstacle journey through mud and slime, was the highlight of the camp and the many camps before it. Eagerly anticipated by all seniors M2 to M5, it was but thinly masked ragging. It did however serve to bring out the true mettle of all who gamely endured the eggs, flour and starch pelted on them.
RAG & FLAG 97
Rag and Flag - a major event in every Medical Students Orientation. The faculty went all out in the name of charity to collect donations from the public (in the form of selling Flags), and showed their appreciation, in return, in the form of a Float exhibited to the public (the "Rag"), not much different from what one would see in a Chingay procession or at a Disney theme park. As the Faculty of Medicine has always upheld the tradition of performing well in the Float category, the Freshmen this year were indeed under pressure to churn out a Float comparable, if not superior, to that of previous years.
The team in front of their winning float
Preparations for building the Float started just about a week before the start of the new term, giving the Faculty a fortnight to complete their masterpiece. The theme for last years float building was VIBRANCE, and it was decided that the float be based on a childs imagination, as what could be more vibrant than that? The float would have to be the epitome of a childs dreams and wishes, and what was thought up in the end signified that more than succintly. A Jesters head at the start of the float with rotating stars and teasing eyes, a pirates ship from the story of Peter Pan equipped with a firing cannon, moving waves, rising mast and a stunning mermaid, a castle a la Alice in Wonderland, fitted with rotating turrets, a working drawbridge and a resident Queen of Hearts, and last but not least a waltzing couple consisting of the candlestick and teapot from the Beauty and the Beast.
This teapot can blink, spout steam and lift its ear
The M1s put in countless hours sawing, drilling and cutting wood to measure to build the basic structure of the floats components. What came after was a real messy affair, where all available participants put their hands to work as we paper-mached, and stuck on colourful foil paper for the designs, using highly environmentally-friendly starch as an alternative to glue. Also, other materials such as aluminium cans were collected and used as parts of the float, or as parts of costumes. The road to completion of the float was long and difficult, and many of the structures had to be redone as we could not sacrifice quality and safety for speed. Came mounting night, when all the structures had to be mounted on the lorry, it became a mad rush as everyone went trying to complete their various jobs. In the end, however, the float came out a beauty, just in time for the competition.
As the M1s proceeded to the Sports Complex for the judging of the float and its accompanying presentation, we were all exhausted from the 2 weeks of hard work and late nights, but satisfied from the results that were produced. It was up to the dancers now, and how wed fare in the end depended on them. The presentation started with our main character little Sarah, waking up with her little teddy and big storybook. As she flipped open her book, lively and child-like music began, and the pirate ship segment of the float came alive, firing its cannon away. A bunch of humourous pirates came out dancing and jumping, oblivious to Sarahs presence. Then, evil Captain Hook came into the picture with a swift cartwheel, and, spying Sarah, ordered his pirates to capture her. Looking for help, Sarah ran up to the Castles drawbridge, knocked frantically to call out the Queen of Hearts. With a burst of smoke, she appeared, and summoned her card soldiers to battle the pirates. Upset with all the fighting, Sarah quickly flipped a page on her storybook, and the pirates and soldiers disappeared instantly to reveal a ballroom scene with handsome gentlemen and beautiful waltzing ladies, soon to be accompanied by the pirates and card soldiers in a brilliant finale. But this dream of Sarahs is abruptly interrupted as little Sarah is called out from her fantasy world by her mother...
As the presentation ended, the dancers were met with thunderous applause, not only from the faculty itself, but also from friends and rivals alike. They all loved it, and it was obviously unanimous - our brilliant float together with the stunning presentation was one of the best around. As the results were announced, we all held our breath as it came to the presentation of awards for the Faculty floats. The Medicine faculty went estatic when it was announced that we had swept all prizes in the float category _ Best Design, Best Presentation, Most Environmentally Friendly and Best Overall Float, taking the Vice-Chancellors shield. We also took the Silver award for the Flag category, having collected more money than we had ever before. Although we lost the eventual Chancellors trophy to our closest rivals, the Business Administration Faculty, we all went home satisfied, knowing that we had all done our best and bettered any achievements left by our predecessors.Invitation Night
Initiation Night marks the end of the Freshman Orientation program where they are formally welcomed as members of the Medical Society. After a solemn ceremony, freshman are thereafter referred to as prestigious "M1s" instead of the much detested "freshmen".
The highlight of the evening was the pairing of a M2 counsellor with a M1 counsellee. The counsellor will act as the guide to the junior during Medical School and beyond. This tradition is considered the "bloodline of the Medicine faculty".
The last, but definitely not the least in significance, was the oath-taking ceremony where the future M1s pledged to uphold the good conduct of the Medical Faculty, and had their candles lit by their counsellor in a symbolic gesture of transmitting knowledge from senior to junior.
It was a definitely a meaningful and beautiful way to end the Orientation.
1. I solemnly pledge, with a determined mind and a committed soul to honour this distinguished society which I am privileged to be a member of.
2. I will do my best to work hard at my studies and will help my colleagues with equal fervour.
3. I will respect my seniors and my teachers who are always there to guide me whenever I am in need.
4. I will use my talents for the benefit of the Faculty and never hesitate to make contributions no matter how insignificant.
5. Despite my struggles, I will nevertheless remain compassionate and unselfish, generous and humble.
6. Let me never lose sight of the noble ideals which I am striving to achieve.
7. While I continue to honour these words may it be granted to me the perseverance to complete this course successfully and the strength to become a Physician worthy of his title.