Saturday, June 30, 2012


It’s a balmy Saturday evening here in Toronto. But more notably, it’s the last day of June. What a turning point: moving day for some; the start of summer holidays for teachers all over the country; the heart of Pride Week; and the night before the start of a new year for doctors beginning a residency.

I said as much to a friend today, for I’d noticed the small rented moving trucks and U-Hauls all over town this morning as I pedalled around the otherwise empty streets on errands, and those made me think of the other June 30 markers. And we agreed that, no disrespect intended, it’s best to try to avoid needing a hospital in these first four to six weeks of summer, until the new residents find their feet. 

“Surely not!” said D who overheard this. “After all they’ve already had a lot of training!”  Sure probably, but not the same kind of specific on-the-job-training that they now face. Just as the smartest most capable first-year lawyer is still all at sea for awhile, floundering and trying to find her/his feet, so too with new residents.  We’re glad they get to learn on the job, real skills. And we know they’re supervised etc. It’s just that everything can take longer, and also there’s sometimes a certain confidence lacking.

That’s as it should be.

We don’t want people pretending a fake confidence, do we? We all want to be able to acknowledge that there’s a lot to learn and that it’s no shame to say, “I am not sure; I will ask my ..(supervising person)..”  Perhaps in fact we’re in safer surer hands when doctors are just starting out, and lawyers too, for that is when they know they don’t know. And that is also when there’s no shame in asking for advice.

The real risk comes when people are senior enough that they are embarrassed to ask for help or advice.

Maybe I have it all wrong in what I wrote above. Maybe we should feel more confident in the weeks just after July 1, as we see the fresh young residents start on the next stage of their journey by learning on us!

Heard some intense Cuban music last night at Lula Lounge, with Jane Bennett. The music was great, but most amazing to me (and this just shows my ignorance of the scene) was the incredible salsa dancing on the dance floor. It was packed. And the fabulous intricate, rhythmical, and completely attuned pairs dancing were a sight to behold. Lovely.

The bicycle ride back along Dundas, catching all the lights, as happens so rarely, in the warm night air, with not much traffic (it felt like everyone except the salsa dancers had left town for the long Canada Day weekend), was exhilarating.

And so is the prospect of two more months of summer.

Happy July everyone.

PS Thanks to everyone who posted comments about and likes of the cover of the Burma book on my Facebook pages.  I'll post the book tour schedule when I know it in more detail... I'll be out and about with the book from late September until mid-November, which is to say that Artisan in the US and RAndom House in Canada are both doing a great job of supporting and promoting the book.

1 comment:

Northmoon said...

Perhaps it's best not to need to be in a hospital at all!

Happy July to you also.